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Quartz, Crystalline Mineral of Silica

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Quartz, Crystalline Mineral of Silica

Crystalline Mineral

NOTE: The origin of the magmatic systems is not well understood and any descriptive content can only be deemed as speculative according to known and presumed observations.

Quartz is a tough, crystalline mineral composed of silica (silicon dioxide) and is the next abundant mineral in the Earths continental crust after feldspar. The forming of quartz crystals begins with the heating and cooling of elements in pockets formed by a superheated soup of base minerals and gases (Magma). During the cooling of the granitic melts and in combination with fluids and gasses, fractionation causes water to exsolve (forming minerals or substances through separation) and as it ascends it triggers flux melting of overlying mafic underplates and other crust. These granitoid magmas comprise a slurry of melt and residue, and recrystallize into a silicic thick soft paste during a local thermodynamic process during its ascent.

The following page describes in brief the forming of quartz crystals through the crystallization process and the designation of the crystal family according to its structure. As quartz is the most abundant mineral its many crystalline varieties are classified as gemstones and used for jewelery or decorative items, the purer rock crystals are used for sculptures and carvings. Also with special piezoelectricity properties it is used in electrical devices and is associated with metaphysical properties. Grounded from granite and marble waste 'Engineered Stone' is commonly used for worktops and countertops worldwide and known as Quartz Materials


Quartz Name Origins

Quartz

Derived from the German word 'Quarz' and previously from the polish dialect 'Kwardy' meaning 'Hard'. In Ancient Greece quartz was referred as 'krustallos' and it is is believed that this word derived from 'Kruos' which means 'Icy Cold'.

Rock Crystals

A term often used as an alternative name for transparent crytsalline quartz




Crystallization Process

Cystallization is The process where the atoms or molecules are organized into a solid form structure, known as a crystal, a process which can be divided into 2 major steps 'Nucleation' and 'Crystal Growth'

Nucleation

Nucleation is the intial procces in the formation of a crystal from a solution, a liquid, or a vapour along with a series of cooling events. A small number of ions, atoms, or molecules become arranged in a pattern of a crystalline solid, creating a framework for additional particles to be deposited.

Crystal Growth

The crystal type is determined by temperature, air pressure and fluid evaporation, Crystal growth rate is also determined by a variety of these conditions and the availability of silica, minerals and water. Several conditions for are required for the likelyhood of Crystallization and include:

Probability

Minerals and organic molecules crystallize easily into high structered crystals. Large biochemical particles and proteins are less likely to crystallize.

Intensity

The intensity of the atomic, intermolecular or intramolecular forces will determine the likelyhood of molecules crystallizing

Separation

Crystallization is also a separation of solids and liquids, in which an appropriate dissolved substance in the liquid solution forms a pure solid crystalline



Crystal Family

Six Crystal structures or as known in the crystal world as 'lattices and point groups' determines the crystal family: triclinic, monoclinic, orthorhombic, tetragonal, hexagonal, and cubic. Three dimensionally, the crystal families are identical, except the hexagonal crystal family which is comprised of 2 crystal systems 'Hexagonal' and 'trigonal' (which are of quartz)..

Hexagonal Crystal System

Each of the 2 crystal systems has its own lattice system Hexagonal is Hexagonal with a sixfold axis of rotation and Trigonal is Rhombohedral with a threefold axis of rotation and are often confused. The crystal system can be further classified into what is known as space or point groups for which trigonal has 5 points and hexagonal 7 points with a total of 52 space groups.

Trigonal

α-quartz - The ideal crystal shape is a six-sided prism terminating with six-sided pyramids at each end.

Hexagonal

β-quartz - The transformation from α-quartz to β-quartz takes place abruptly at 573 °C (1,063 °F). This transformation has a significant increase in volume, and can induce fracturing of ceramics or rocks

Chirality

Even though Both 'α-quartz' and 'β-quartz' are geometrical in form they are not identical to their mirror image and therefore they are commonly termed 'chiral'. A chiral object and its mirror image are called enantiomorphs which mean 'Opposite forms' in greek. An object that is identical to its mirror image is termed 'Achiral'.



Piezoelectricity

Crystals, Ceramics, Bone, DNA and Proteins have shown that they can accumulate an electric charge in the form Piezoelectricity (Pressure from latent Heat). The word comes from the Greek 'Piezen' which means to press or squeeze and 'elektron' which mean amber, which was long ago recognised for its static charging as per the triboelectric series. It is recorded that piezoelectricity was discovered in 1880 by French physicists Jacques and Pierre Curie, however, there is empirical evidence shows that ancient cultures where fully aware of electrical properties of materials and more so than we do today.

Metaphysical Properties

Crystals have long been renowned for their esoteric attributes because it is understood that the piezioelectricity accumulation in crystals is much the same as that of Bone, DNA and Proteins in the human body. It is without wonder then that Quartz Crystals have long been ascociated with metaphysical properties such as structure, storing, amplification, focusing, transmitting and transforming energy. How these properties work is unclear, however, The clearer the quartz the cleaner and more powerful the effects are according to practitioners of crystal healing, meditation and spiritual work.

Intuition and a positive temperament plays an important role in the effects of any crystal or modality, and how you feel towards a crystal is an important to how you use it and the benefits attained. Quartz crystals act like tuning forks and returns or balances our physical and subtle bodies frequencies to a more natural state. Studies have shown that holding a small, double terminated quartz doubles the photographable portion of the human aura.

Clarity

Focus and Magnification

Channeling

Cleansing

Healing

Chakra Stimulation

Electronics

Quartz is widely Used in the electronics industry to both resonate and filter electronic frequencies in a large number of applications that is associated or ascentuates the operation of our own senses...which include Sensors, Optics, Sound, Balancing with atomic resolution and precision. Common everyday uses are Push/Press start ignition sources, Quartz watches, Electrical insturments and Mobile phones.



Quartz Crystal Types

The most varied and common of all minerals is Quartz and it occurs in many different forms, habits, and colors, often forming in the inner lining of geodes as a layer of large crystalline Quartz, and an outer layer of Chalcedony or banded Agate. Chalcedony is a Microcrystalline form of Quartz and only forms as compacted and microscopic crystals.

Gemstones

There are more quartz varieties than any other known mineral. The main crystalline Quartz varieties are are semi-precious gemstones and it is the various impurities that are responsible for the extensive range of colors. As some colours are either rare or expensive many clear rock crystals are synthetically coloured through various heating or film techniques to form imitations of the pure gem type quartz

All forms of Quartz are used as gemstones, They are either kept in their natural crystal form or cut into various cabochons, tumbled or polished and used in all forms of jewelery.

Amethyst

Light to Dark purple

Ametrine

Purple and Brownish Yellow

Aventurine

Glistening, Green, Gray, Orange, Brown

Blue

Blue to Gray with Inclusions

Cat's Eye

Translucent Gray with Rutile Inclusions

Citrine

Yellow, Orange or Reddish Brown

Elestial

Golden Yellow or Amethyst

Lemon

Light to dark Yellow

Milky

Translucent to Opaque White

Prase

Translucent Emerald Green & Inclusions

Prasiolite or Vermarine

Green

Rock Crystal

Transparent and Pure

Rose

Milky Light to Medium Soft Pink

Rutilated

Colorless and Golden Yellow Hair Inclusions

Smoky

Smoky Light Brown to Black

Tourmalinated

Translucent, Splintery Black Tourmaline Inclusions

Ferruginous

Opaque Red - Brown or Yellow, Red, Brown Inclusions

Faden

Translucent with White thread like interior



Engineered Stone

Commonly referred to as engineered stone, most quartz worktop materials contain approximately 85-94% quartz and is in fact crushed waste of natural stone such as granite and marble. The remainder 6-15% is of polymeric or cement based binders, ceramic, glass, mirrors and dies. The blended material is pressed into forms of mostly 20 and 30mm thickness and according to the size of the press will make a standard or jumbo sized slab, once pressed and air removed, they are heated/sintered until they have the hardness and appearance of natural stone. The resins used have become more natural and less synthetic over time, resins also help with stain, water and scratch resistances, so they never need to be sealed

it was not until 1963 that the technology to create engineered stone was developed, the Breton company in northeast Italy licensed the process under the trademark Bretonstone®. By the mid-1970s machinery became large enough to produce slabs measuring approximatley 50 inches long (127cm), however, they still lacked colour and pattern variations. In recent years the technology for large scale slabs has evolved and varieties of colours, patterns and finishes has dramatically increased, with many fabricators and suppliers like us within the trade.